Comparative effectiveness of rituximab in combination with either methotrexate or leflunomide in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis
Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism, 08/23/2011
– The preliminary data support the view that LEF is a useful alternative if MTX is contraindicated, since its effectiveness and safety seem similar.
Data from 77 consecutive unselected patients with active RA and treated with at least 1 cycle of RTX (1 g × 2 weeks) plus MTX or LEF were retrospectively collected
Comparative study between 2 combinations of treatment (RTX+MTX and RTX+LEF) performed at 6 months of follow-up considering 3 outcomes: improvement of RA disease activity, evolution of functional disability, and tolerability and SE profile
Of 77 patients, 45 received RTX+MTX and 32 RTX+LEF
At baseline there were no significant differences between the groups in terms of main clinical and laboratory data, or in the number of previous DMARD and anti-tumor necrosis factor agents used
At 6 months of follow-up, did not find significant differences between 2 combinations in evolution of RA disease activity (DAS28 response, according to European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) improvement criteria) and functional disability progression (health assessment questionnaire) over time
Minor adverse events occurred in 9% of RTX+MTX patients and in 9% of RTX+LEF patients
None of patients had serious AEs and none discontinued treatment during study period
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